Gainesville: GM Friday summary

Greg Anderson's SC/T Grand Am Sets Gatornationals Track Record GAINESVILLE, Fla., March 14, 2003 - Pontiac SC/T Grand Am driver Greg Anderson leads first-day Gatornationals Pro Stock qualifiers after setting a Gainesville Raceway track record...

Greg Anderson's SC/T Grand Am Sets Gatornationals Track Record

GAINESVILLE, Fla., March 14, 2003 - Pontiac SC/T Grand Am driver Greg Anderson leads first-day Gatornationals Pro Stock qualifiers after setting a Gainesville Raceway track record with a run of 6.788 seconds at 203.43 mph. It marked the first time that a Pro Stock car had qualified in the 6.70s at the Gatornationals.

"The last three weeks we've made steady progress on our Pontiac Grand Am and it's been incredible," said Anderson. "I've hired a great group of guys and have all the confidence in the world in them. We made a lot of changes over the winter with the new car and the new shop, and I thought it would take us a little while to get up to speed. But our progress has come a lot faster than I originally thought it would.

"My engine guys are doing a great job and my Grand Am is the best working car out there right now. It hardly even needs a pilot, it goes right down the track itself. GM has been a fantastic addition this year to our program and having factory support really shows. I saw it first-hand working for years with Warren (Johnson) and now to be a part of it myself is a tremendous benefit."

With two additional qualifying sessions on Saturday, Anderson, who is celebrating his 42nd birthday today, will try to fight off the competition and seal his fourth career No. 1 qualifying spot. He earned his last raceday pole position at last year's Fram Nationals in Sonoma, Calif.

"We tested at Bradenton for two days and tried some different aero and engine tune-up setups," explained Anderson. "Everything that showed us promise on the dyno showed us a lot of promise on the racetrack. During testing, we outran everybody by a good three hundredths down the racetrack every time out. I was really confident coming in here and thought we could get the pole, but I wasn't sure what Warren and Kurt (Johnson) were going to do. Kurt outran us the first lap so that told us he had made some gains too. Then we were able to get back around up this afternoon."

Kurt Johnson debuted the new 2003 Chevy Cavalier for the first time this weekend, and rolled to the No. 2 qualifying spot with a run of 6.800 seconds and a track-record top speed of 203.61 mph.

"Other than looking good, the biggest difference I've noticed so far with the 2003 Cavalier is the big numbers it's been putting on my time slip," remarked Johnson. "We're faster than everyone else out there, and it shows a lot of potential. However, like anything new, we'll have to do some work to get the most out if it. But after two official runs, It certainly has us excited.

"We were happy after the first session when we ran that 6.80 and were the low qualifier. However, since we knew we could go even quicker, we knew some of our competitors could as well, so we made some changes and ran another .80 in the afternoon. However, Greg (Anderson) laid that 6.78 down and moved around us, so it's just a matter of going back to work.

"We knew coming in that this would be a tough field. There are a lot of good cars here, and everybody's been testing at Bradenton. We tested in Atlanta and the hard work is paying off. We have great power, but we're just not getting the car hooked up in the first 300 feet. We'll work on that tomorrow, and see if we can get this ACDelco Cavalier back on the pole.

Jeg Coughlin Jr. is qualified No. 3 and Ron Krisher is fifth, both in Cavaliers. Bruce Allen is in the No. 7 spot, Warren Johnson is eighth, Tom Martino is ninth and Jim Yates is 10th, all in Pontiac SC/T Grand Ams.

Final eliminations for the Gatornationals can be seen on ESPN2 on Sunday, March 16, starting at 9 p.m. Eastern.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Kurt Johnson , Warren Johnson , Greg Anderson , Ron Krisher , Bruce Allen